Asia Pacific

‘Millions continue to suffer’

[This is the speech delivered to the launch meeting of Agent Orange Justice - Australia Vietnam Solidarity Network, held in Sydney on June 1, by the Vietnamese consul general in Sydney, Mai Phuoc Dung.]

Philippines Labor Party sets example of union leadership

If “Labor Party” makes you think of right-wing parties like the ALP or the British Labour Party, the Labor Party in the Philippines (PM from its name in Tagalog) will be a refreshing surprise. Unlike those parties, the PM is a home for revolutionaries and trade union leaders who put up a fight against their bosses. It is one of a number of socialist parties in the Philippines, the largest of which is the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Indonesian women struggle against poverty, discrimination and exploitation

International Women’s Day is still much less known among Indonesian women than May Day is among Indonesian workers. This is not surprising because the struggle for the liberation of women developed only several years after reformasi - the movement that toppled the Suharto dictatorship in 1998. Then there was a mushrooming of different kinds of women’s organisations, communities, non-government organisations (NGOs), research institutions and legal aid that openly advocated women’s social and political rights.

Indonesian government blamed for religious violence

The gruesome murder of three members of the Ahmadiyah religious sect by an Islamist mob  has left Indonesia’s image of pluralism and religious tolerance in tatters. On February 6, a mob of 1500 people attacked 21 Ahmadiyah members in Cikeusik, a village in Banten province in Java, killing three and seriously wounding five others. Around 30 police officers were present but did little to stop the attack. An amateur video posted on YouTube shows the gruesome beating of the men with wooden sticks, hoes and machetes.

Fighting for women's rights in Indonesia

The story of women in Indonesia is inseparable from the development of the Indonesian nation itself. Indonesia was swept up in the global wave of anti-colonial national liberation movements in the mid-20th century, declaring its independence in 1945 after almost 350 years of Dutch colonial rule. The key leader of Indonesia’s national liberation struggle, Sukarno, went on to became the country’s first president.

Vietnam reviews course of socialist construction

The 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) concluded on January 19. Over eight days, the congress reviewed its past decisions and performance and set the course to lead the people in building Vietnam into an industrialised nation.

Indonesia: 100 years of women's struggle for liberation

Women are not just housewives. They are not second-class citizens. History shows that in the beginning, the world progressed because humanity (men and women) succeeded in managing nature by creating, using and modernising the tools of labour, resulting in abundant production (surplus). This was done in a way that was equitable — there were none that had more than others; there was no domination by one gender over the other.

Merapi disaster: when the government fails, the people must act

The Alliance of People’s Struggle (ARM), a coalition of women’s, students, labour and peasant organisations, based in Yogyakarta, is appealing for emergency aid to help people affected by the Mount Merapi volcano, which is having its most violent eruptions in more than a century. The eruption on the morning of November 5 killed 58 people, injured dozens more and completely incinerated the village of Argomulya.